Habitat for Humanity – Day 5 in Romania

Today got off to a late start as we got lost in traffic leading to us being well over an hour late at the building site. We then played a game called Shaolin Master in which everyone would have to strike one of four poses and then if anyone had the same pose as the leader they would be eliminated. This ended in a tense final between Derin and Pritha in which Pritha won.

We then started working on site with everyone’s first task. For the boys, it was cleaning the worksite of small bits of wood and wires. The girls then split into two groups, one removed nails from planks and the other group cleaned.

The main challenge of the day was once more the extreme heat, which made every job much more difficult. For the boys, who were carrying wooden beams from the second floor to the ground as well as metal support beams, the heat made being on the ground floor extremely tiring. We had to take a few extra breaks to rehydrate due to the heat. By the end it was satisfying to see the work that we had done.

 Another challenge for some was a small dog named Bella who would love to play with us. We had to make sure she was not in the way whilst we were working. This is why I consider her a challenge that had to be worked around.

The girls mostly spent their day removing nails from pieces of wood from the concrete casing, which the workers were breaking throughout the day. One of the girls labeled the work as ‘therapeutic’. The work was mostly done with crowbars and hammers. At one point the boys joined in on the fun! The other group of girls mainly helped clear the site at the bottom. Overall everyone had fun and worked to the best of their abilities on this very hot day.

 By Derin and Pietro

 

Habitat for Humanity Romania Day 4

Hello beloved parents and others interested, It is us- Mercy and Gaia – reporting to you live from Bucharest, Romania.

Today was an eventful day. The epic Grade 11 Habitat for Humanity students started off their morning with an even more epic breakfast, ranging from fruits and vegetables to sausages, which are supposed to be a local delicacy of sorts. Waking up was hard for many as much of their energy had been used the two previous days of INTENSE work. But alas, it did not bring their spirits and motivation down! By 9:17 the students found themselves once more at the building site!

Work started after a quick ice breaker (called ping pong), which their dear classmate Anika won. Thus, they proceeded afterwards to continue the tasks that they had been assigned. Two people worked on sanding down floor boards and adding varnish. Another group pulled out nails from wooden planks, a third painted more wooden planks with protective liquid (which went to be used as a base for the roof of the building) and another group worked on lifting planks to the roof.

Then, it was lunch time. The tension in the air was clear, as all opened their styrofoam boxes in what seemed to be slow motion, anticipating the food and hoping, no, WISHING, that it will be edible. A collective sigh of relief was then let out when the proteins of the course were discovered to be chew-able chicken, and the vegetarian option was actually seasoned. This, however, was only the beginning of the surprises that followed suit.

For the past days, there were rumors spreading like a wildfire through the group of a surprise coming. Right after lunch the group was called to assemble and were told that all the rumors were TRUE! The surprise they were waiting for was a journey into the unknown lands of Buftea, full of stray cats and dogs and a green haven in the middle of the city.

The group started by making their way through the town of Buftea and headed towards Ştirbey Domain, which is a palace that used to be owned by the local royalty.

There they saw an adorable alpaca and some amazing peacocks (and a cat. Very important.)

They also came across a stunning church, which stood tall against their small bodies, eyes gazing upwards in admiration.

By the time they were all back, they went to a colorful, cheerful Turkish restaurant and ordered a plethora of food, as expected after a long day out.

Note: Bella’s fandom was greatly disappointed in her absence on site today

Habitat for Humanity – Day 3: Productivity and Water Melon

The day started off pretty early like usual; with a full healthy ROMANIAN breakfast. Everyone wakes up and gets ready and meets downstairs in the hotel lobby. We then took our party bus with the blue and red lights, which hyped us up to a small town near Buftea called Buciumeni. Like usual we got our helmets on and our gloves, we talked strategy and we jump right in. But before we jumped in, we did an energizer to really get the blood flowing.

What came next is how we were split up. We were spilt into 4 groups. The boys were working on moving wood, some of the girls were painting, some were sweeping on the top floor, and some were hammering nails all the way until lunch.

The biggest highlight for everyone was seeing our beloved Bella (the dog from yesterday) come back to us. We initially thought something might have happened to her. We were so excited to see her looking fresh and healthy; and most importantly alive.

A highlight we have encountered every day is how kind the construction workers are. Even if they don’t speak our language (for some of us), they still tried to help us and explain as well as possible. Luckily, not only did they speak Romanian, but they also spoke Italian. Seeing as we have an Italian boy student, and a girl that speaks Romanian, it was easier to communicate with them.

Lunch today was not a highlight. We didn’t realise that bubblegum came with meat flavour but the effort was appreciated. The dogs, however, were very enchanted by the delicacy.

After lunch, we switched tasks. Some of us managed to complete the task faster than others; or more accurately a lot faster than the others.

We had another well-deserved break in the afternoon where we all enjoyed some cold fresh juicy watermelon. Some of us more than others, seeing as even now there are traces of watermelon juice after the watermelon eating competitions; Giulio was the clear winner for those interested!

 And Ms. Mechkova sure did love her watermelon!

Habitat for Humanity Romania Day 2

Today was the first day of construction work. The 12 students and two teachers were split into groups of five.

Each group was assigned different tasks. The first group was tasked with removing nails from wooden planks. Once they finished, the group helped remove water from the flooded lower level of the building.

The second group constructed cement armaments throughout the day.

The third group covered wooden beams with water and rot resistant paint. Towards the end, individuals from all groups joined together to secure small and large wooden beams which are to be used for the roof of the building.

Throughout the work day, we stopped for several breaks. During these breaks, we enjoyed cold water, lunch, and other snacks. We also met several dogs that followed us around the worksite. They were so cute!

Once the workday ended, we enjoyed dinner and some chose to bowl. Others looked around the mall and some went back to the hotel. Overall, everyone had a fun day!

 By Anika and Janne

Habitat for Humanity – Romania Day 1

On Saturday we arrived in Bucharest, Romania. We were surprised by the hot temperatures of +30 degrees. We were picked up from the airport by our Romanian Habitat for Humanity supervisor. We received an introduction to our project.

After dumping our luggage at the Hotel, we went into the center of Bucharest. We had a quick walk around the town and had some dinner. After dinner, we went to the Street Art Festival, which was a different experience, as well as being very interesting way to experience a different culture. After being very exhausted from the travel and the trip to the center, we went back to the hotel. 

On Sunday, we got to know Bucharest way more than expected thanks to the help from Adi, our guide. The most fascinating part of our day was being able to see one of the biggest buildings in the world which was the Palace of the Parliament, built by Nicolae Ceaușescu who was the last Communist leader of Romania. It is more than 250 metres wide and long and has over 1,000 rooms.

We learned so much about Bucharest as a whole and it was fascinating to hear all the stories about past events such as the revolution. Something that was also interesting was figuring out the amount we actually walked. We surprisingly walked near 20 km on the day along with a few hop on hop off bus rides. The bus rides were a perfect opportunity to see the beautiful city of Bucharest.  Seeing the contrast in the areas was so interesting and it really showed how affected the city was by it’s past. We also went on the metro a few times in order to get around the large city and to save us from even more walking.

We went to the Senses Museum which was located in the largest mall in Romania. The museum was interesting as it messed with our senses and created illusions.

To top off our tiring day we went to a nice restaurant by the lake. This weekend was a nice way to get us ready for the 5 days of hard work that we are about to encounter.

By Giulio and Taylor

MCP Fair 2019

The MPR was filled with students attending and helping at the MCP Fair earlier in March. PYP students experienced millet grinding, cooking, head scarf tying, dance, puzzles, water carrying and more. The aim of the fair was for students to learn about life in Mayana, Namibia, the small village supported by the organisation Make Change Possible (MCP). It was also a fundraiser, and we are happy to report that 470 Euros were raised.

MYP students played an important role, volunteering at different stations and the cake sale table. DP students Inigo, Janne, Kyra and Pritha were all actively involved in the Working Group, helping to plan the event and ensure it was a success.

Many thanks to all those who took part and supported. After the break, there will be more information about the up-and-coming Flea Market to be held on May 25th – keep it in mind if you’re having a clean out this Spring break!

text & photos HP

Schüler machen Zeitung

Students' newspaper articles published in RNZ

In November and December 2018 the grade 9 & 10 German Language and Literature class took part in “Schüler machen Zeitung”, a project organised by the local Rhein Neckar Zeitung, which entailed daily RNZ subscription and a newspaper article writing competition.

Every student created an article about a topic they decided to be of interest for the readers.  Every year, the best articles are chosen and published in the newspaper. This year 23 school classes and 546 students were working towards the same goal.

Finally, on March, the 27th, in a separate “Sonderbeilage” (special edition) of the RNZ, the best 52 student articles were published and we are very proud that 6 articles of H.I.S. students have been chosen. Well done Louis, Carolin, Ishikaa, Laura and Lennard!

And special greetings to Anna in South Africa, who submitted her article in January, although she left H.I.S. end of December, when the project was still in full swing.

text: BK

H.I.S. Human Rights Exhibition 2019

We are very grateful to the Interkulturelles Zentrum for their initiative to include schools in a project to recognise the 70 years that the Declaration of Human Rights has been in existence.

Over the last 2 months, the MYP students have grappled with reasons behind each of the 30 articles, how they are observed and how they are, at times, trampled upon. Following their in-depth consideration of the Declaration across several subjects, the students produced thought-provoking and empowering responses. The resulting poetry, art work, biographical posters and cartoons, were the basis of our Exhibition.

The originality of the pieces of work, reflect the encouraging learning environment created by their inspirational teachers. I believe our future is in safe hands when we see the level of understanding, demonstrated by our MYP students, of the very complex topics raised through studying Human Rights.

text: KM

Guess who made the best guess

Grade 11 students invited the H.I.S. community to make a very “sweet guess” before Winter Break. The M&M guessing was launched on Monday, December 10th and officially ended on Friday, December 14th after the Winter Fair!

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the project and helped to raise over 80 Euros for Habitat for Humanity!

Here is what you’ve all been waiting for: the glass jar contained 3167 M&Ms! The jar of M&Ms was handed over to the lucky winner, Ishan, who got closest with his guess of 3165.

Congratulations Ishan and don’t eat them all at once! Everybody else, please don’t be disappointed, you might have better luck with the raffle… Keep an eye out for posters around the school and the blog! We appreciate your help!

Janne, from the Habitat For Humanity team